Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

The students have chosen their next project studies!  Kindergarten B will focus their project work on gymnastics.  Kindergarten A will focus their project work on toys.

The process of deciding started with children advocating for what to study from a list of things they are curious about that they generated last week. This was an option, not a requirement. We discussed a number of things before advocating: 

  • Advocating isn’t just saying which topic you’d like to study, but why.   
  • Think for yourself.  Do not just simply advocate for the same topic as your friends.  
  • When listening to others’ ideas during the “advocating” phase of our project, be sure to keep an open mind.
  • It is okay to feel disappointed if what you voted for wasn’t ultimately chosen, but it’s important to be flexible and recognize that any project will be rich and exciting.  We all kept our “optimism glasses” on and worked to embrace these new topics.    

Both kindergarten classrooms will focus on their topics with the lens of “growth mindset,” thinking about perseverance and how making mistakes can lead to learning and growth.  Each classroom made a list of questions they have about gymnastics and toys to help focus our upcoming research.  If you have any expertise in either topic, we would love to have you join us to share what you know.  If you have any resources you think we would be of help, please email the classroom teachers.  If you have any old toys that you are willing to donate to kindergarten, please bring them into school.  We will make great use of them.  Thanks!

Writing Workshop was connected to our project work as the children wrote about their previous experiences with their topics.  

We played games in math that focused on shapes and how smaller shapes can be combined to make larger shapes.  For example, a rhombus can be created with two triangles, a trapezoid with three triangles, and a hexagon with six.  

One of the goals of Seed to Table is to infuse and weave Spanish culture and language into the program.  This week the children made salsa.  They talked more about how a recipe is a list of directions that needs to be followed in order to make a specific item.  The salsa recipe had a number of required ingredients, and then the children could choose to add mango or corn.  They also made their own tortilla chips.  A few weeks ago students planted seeds that have now sprouted.  They are doing regular observational sketches of these plants to document the changes over time.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day on Tuesday by decorating bags to hold all of the Valentine cards the children distributed to one another.  We read a number of books about friendship and love.  We were also part of the audience for the traditional annual TPS Valentine’s Day Talent Show.  Grades 1-8 participate, if they choose, and many of our children are starting to think about acts they want to do next year!

There is no school tomorrow.  It is a professional development day for teachers.  There is a special ASEP program.  We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, February 21, as there is no school on Monday, February 20, in celebration of Presidents’ Day.

Questions to ask your child:

  • Did you choose to advocate for a topic of study?  If yes, for which topic did you advocate and why?  
  • How do you feel about the topic that was chosen?
  • What are you wondering about that topic?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Go on a shape hunt in your house.  Can you find trapezoids?  hexagons?  circles?  squares? triangles?  You can keep track with tally marks and figure out how many of each you found.
  • Make a meal together.  Get recipes, get ingredients, and go through the steps together.  Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as expected, you can talk about what you would do differently next time, and how mistakes can help us learn.

Have a good weekend,

The Kindergarten Team